Now, Albert Einstein was a fuck-up as a cartoonist, that said which by the way is redundant in both writing and speech because, you know, you just said what you said and therefore never mind but he did manage to say something very smart and Einstein-ey-ish about starry-eyed dopes like God Hates Astronauts writer/artist Ryan Browne. No less of an authority than the internet says Einstein (supposedly) said: ”Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Pro-tip: using overused clichés (talk about redundancy) like this one from Einstein (allegedly) in one’s writing is like using the phrase ‘that said’ in everyday speech. That said … few piss into the wind or shovel shit against the tide better than Browne. God bless you and your tortured need for acceptance.
This is Browne’s third (maybe fourth) attempt to (throat-clearing noise) launch this pet franchise of his into the hands of indifferent comics readers. First, GHA was a web comic, than a successful Kickstarter (backers even received what they ordered) and then a trade paperback published by Image Comics and now an on-going. Insanity. Pity colorist Jordan Boyd and letterer Crank for hitching their wagon Browne’s star.
God Hates Astronauts #1 defines the word ‘mistake’ and (for once?) is a total miscalculation on the part of Image Comics. There can be little doubt Browne has Eric Stephenson’s dirty pictures. Perhaps GHA #1 is a ‘mercy-publication?’ Perhaps somewhere in the bureaucracy of some Northern California court one would find a sealed presentment or some out of court settlement … the case of Browne vs. the board of Image Comics shareholders. Who knows. Who cares.
Honestly, why pay the $3.50 cover price for God Hates Astronauts #1 when in six months even the variant cover, by no less than Geof Darrow, will crowd out other has-beens and never-weres in the quarter bin or stuffed into grab bags at Free Comic Book Days for decades to come? Future generations will mistakenly stumble upon this paragon of defiance against good taste — especially when there are so many post-apocalyptic zombie noir comics, crossover events and other original sins — and ask wha?
Why the ire for the plucky upstart Mr. Browne and his (albeit) feeble attempt to slice off his own piece of the creator-owned pie? Simple … satire. See, satire doesn’t sell. Satire is the creeper in the corner who shows up uninvited, you know, like educational programming on corporately-owned TV stations. Best to air such dreck at 5 AM when the drunks finally pass out. That’s the audience for God Hates Astronauts, blackout drunks, maybe masochists. Absurdity is an outlier, horses shouldn’t drink beer from the bottle and the foibles of comics shouldn’t be tweaked, whether playfully or not. Browne’s a tweaker. His jokes depend on gratuitous visual gags, silly sound effects, bestiality and a deep knowledge of Billy Bob Thorton’s filmography, four things no one asked for, ever. With, perhaps, the exception of 3-D Cowboy and The Impossible, God Hates Astronauts #1 is a comic best described as not for everyone.
Yes, Browne is an über-talented cartoonist and writer. And yes because of God Hates Astronauts he’s more than likely going to end up having to pimp himself out as an über-talented cartoonist Uber driver when he’s inevitably pantsed for defrauding comic book speculators who were (innocently) buying God Hates Astronauts #1 not to read (where the fuck have you been?!?) but because it was published by Image Comics, so money. Caveat Emptor dumbasses.
The good news is God Hates Astronauts will run eight issues, ten, at best, an adulterated un-fucked-around-with distillation of why we can’t have nice things. Embrace the insanity, embrace the stupidity: God Hates Astronauts #1.
Keith Silva knows satire and sarcasm are fool’s errands so he started a twitter account: @keithpmsilva